Ford’s Weakest Link Could Emerge as Chevrolet & Toyota’s Biggest Nightmare

Published 09/29/2023, 5:09 PM EDT

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USA Today via Reuters

The Cup Series next heads to Talladega Superspeedway for the second race in the Round of 12. While the driver’s playoffs have gotten intense, things are equally competitive in the owner’s playoffs. Despite Ford cars being in the minority in the current round, their weakest link could turn out to be a game-changer on Sunday.

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It is no secret that races on the Talladega track are full of surprises and unpredictable in many senses. In fact, with the current lot of drivers in the owner’s playoff, it could turn into an interesting battle in Alabama.

Ford could turn up the heat at the Talladega Superspeedway

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Without a doubt, it was a big blow for Ford after the Round of 16 eliminated three of their cars. While Michael McDowell never looked convincing, the setback of Kevin Harvick and Joey Logano taking an early exit must have been heartbreaking for them.

However, they are now left with Ryan Blaney, Brad Keselowski, and Chris Buescher to fight for the owner’s championship. It is certainly not going to be easy given the strong competitors available for Chevrolet and Toyota. However, there’s hope for Ford given their drivers’ impressive record in Talladega.

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Among the current drivers, Keselowski has been a dominant force at the track with six wins, 10 top-five, and 14 top-ten finishes to his name. At the same time, Buescher and his team have been on a decent run with two top-five finishes already to their name in the playoffs.

Having said that, it is Ryan Blaney and the #12 team that holds the key on Sunday. They currently sit in the 11th position on the table with everything to fight for. Blaney is also pushing for a place in the next round as far as the driver’s playoffs are concerned.

What’s most impressive about Blaney is he has two back-to-back wins to his name in Talladega. With consecutive triumphs in 2019 and 2020, five top-five and seven top-ten finishes on the track, he could turn out to be a brutal force for Ford on Sunday.

While he may not be the strongest Ford driver in Talladega, he could pull off something special, especially with his teammate’s help.

Ryan Blaney believes teamwork and past experience remains key at the Talladega Superspeedway

Interestingly, Team Penske driver Joey Logano holds a pretty good record in Talladega. Not only does he have three wins to his name but he has led 420 laps on the track, the 3rd best among the current drivers. Surely, Logano would be more than happy to help his teammate Ryan Blaney come Sunday.

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At the same time, the #12 driver is of the opinion that teamwork and past success could turn out handy. Speaking to NASCAR.com, Blaney said, “I don’t think you can pick a guy that is a favorite at Talladega because you never know what can happen there.”

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He added, “I think the best thing that we have talked about for that race is to try to control it like we have in the past and get a few of our cars up there and control the front of the pack. Hopefully, you can maintain that. We kind of see it is difficult to go from the back to the front now at speedways, so you try not to bury yourself.”

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It is indeed interesting to see how the three Ford cars perform on the track. Do they have enough ammo to hurt the Chevrolet and Toyota cars on Sunday? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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Written by:

Priyank Mithani

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Priyank Mithani is a NASCAR writer at EssentiallySports with a passion for motorsports that began in his childhood. Over the years, he has been following the sport meticulously, and his insights are highly respected within the NASCAR community. Priyank is a devoted fan of Kyle Busch and has closely followed his career for years.
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Edited by:

Nischal Kandpal

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